With 18, Ness on verge of tying single-season pin total

Paul Cordes

Few can match the credentials of Minnesota wrestling assistant coach Marty Morgan during his time wrestling at the University in the early ’90s. The three-time All-American – and 1991 National Champion – is one of the greatest competitors Minnesota has had.

But sophomore Jayson Ness certainly has an opportunity to catch up to his current coach at least slightly, as the 125-pounder’s 18 pins this season is just two shy of Morgan’s single-season record.

Ness will have a chance to narrow that gap to one tonight as the No. 4 Gophers (13-5 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) are set for a 7 p.m. dual at Williams Arena against No. 8 Illinois (11-2, 3-1), and then could tie the record Sunday during Minnesota’s 2 p.m. showdown with No. 13 Wisconsin (11-4-1, 2-3).

Ness’s two wins last weekend improved his unblemished record to 30-0 on the year, giving him a 31-match win streak – both the ninth-longest in school history and second best among active Division I wrestlers.

Schlatter return likely

Junior Dustin Schlatter, who has not seen action since Dec. 30 after suffering a hamstring injury, is likely to return to the 149-pound spot in the lineup this weekend.

Schlatter is currently ranked No. 3 in the country and is sitting on a 92-3 career record. His return will be very much welcomed by Minnesota.

During Schlatter’s time off, freshman Luke Mellmer has stepped into a tough spot, going 1-10 in duals and 0-3 in the Big Ten. Schlatter, on the other hand, will bring his 5-0 dual record from this season into his first Big Ten dual this weekend.